JOHANNESBURG. – The rand was off its firmer overnight levels but remained below the key R16 to the dollar barrier in opening trade yesterday. The local currency weakened to 16,11 against the greenback on Monday after weak Chinese purchasing managers index (PMI) data soured sentiment. However, the rand managed to claw back some ground after reassuring comments from Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan about the government’s commitment to fiscal consolidation, Barclays Research said in a morning note.
“Although the rand had started Monday at a three-week high of 15,85 to the dollar, we don’t see any further catalysts for the currency to strengthen beyond that level this week.
“Moreover, we expect rand investors to remain in a wait-and-see mode ahead of the US employment report for January, which we believe could curb any further potential rand recovery,” Barclays added.
At 8.25am the rand was at 15,9986 against the dollar from 15,9015 previously. Against the euro, the rand was at 17,4464 from 17,3168 previously. It was at 23,0104 against the pound from 22,9513 previously. The euro was at $1,0905 from $1,0890 previously. – BDLive.